(NEWS10) — The United States Center for Disease Control (CDC), as well as the NYS Department of Health (NYSDOH), have released guidelines to how best avoid infection and what actions to take if someone suspects they have been infected or are experiencing all symptoms of COVID-19.
It is important to note that the overall risk of exposure to individual New Yorkers remains relatively low. Here is a list of recommended guidelines to follow:
- New York State now has 524 confirmed COVID-19 cases.
- Charter will offer free access to Spectrum broadband and wifi for 60-days for K-12 and college student households. To enroll call 1-844-488-8395. For K-12 students and/or college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription at any service level up to 100 Mbps. Installation fees will be waived for new student households. Charter will partner with school districts to ensure local communities are aware of these tools to help students learn remotely. For eligible low-income households without school-aged children, Charter continues to offer Spectrum Internet Assist, a low-cost broadband program delivering speeds of 30 Mbps. Charter will open its Wi-Fi hotspots across our footprint for public use
- Capital Region hospitals have erected makeshift tents, repurposed space and established drive-thru lanes where people can come to have swabs taken for #COVID19 testing. No walk-ins allowed. They will only test on a doctor’s order in order to prioritize those at high-risk.
- Verizon will help customers and small businesses disrupted by impact of coronavirus and will waive late fees and keep residential and small business customers connected if negatively impacted by COVID-19.
- The Federal government has declared a national state of emergency and will release up to $50 billion in aid to states hit worst-hit by COVID-19.
- Owners representing more than 150,000 rental units in the City, and the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), the City’s leading real estate trade association, pledged not to execute any warrant of eviction for the next 90 days in response to the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
- National Grid has temporarily suspended collections-related activities, including service disconnections, to lessen any financial hardship the COVID-19 pandemic may cause.
- Albany City Schools will close for two weeks and will reopen on Monday, March 30th. More information here from ACS.
- Guilderland Central School District will close Farnsworth Middle School March 16-27, 2020. All elementary schools and the high school will be closed March 16-20, 2020 (unless extended under the guidance of health officials). All school activities are canceled as well. The March 14 SATs are canceled. Stay apprised of updates from GCSD here.
- The 180-day rule for K-12 public schools to receive state funding will be waived, and localities have the final decision on whether or not to close.
- The state will waive the 7-day waiting period for unemployment benefits for those laid off due to the virus.
- The state’s PSC will prohibit service cut-off to utility customers unable to pay due to the virus.
- Albany Med, Ellis Hospital, St. Peter’s hospital, and affiliated hospitals have suspended routine hospital visits.
- Starting Friday at 5 p.m. EST, public gatherings over 500 people in congregate spaces/venues hosting events with occupancy limits of 500+ in congregate spaces are prohibited in New York State, with the exception of schools, hospitals, mass transit, grocery stores, pharmacies, and nursing homes, or face penalties. This includes places of worship.
- Starting Friday at 5 p.m. EST, facilities with a listed maximum occupancy of 0-500 will be legally required to reduce that capacity by at least 50% or face penalties.
- The Governor’s Executive Order clarifying these restrictions can be found here: https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/no-2021-continuing-temporary-suspension-and-modification-laws-relating-disaster-emergency
- Primary care providers and practices should call (518) 447-4580 to request a test from the NYSDOH – New York State Health Department.
- Visitation to Nursing Homes AND Senior Assisted Living Facilities is prohibited, excluding necessary medical personnel and individual visitors who dress in full, protective-garb. Please check with your individual facility if you have any questions.
- Next week, the state Legislature will vote on a Paid Sick Leave proposal for most private-sector employees in New York State. The state will guarantee two full weeks of paid leave for all state workers who are subject to a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine as a result of the novel coronavirus. Stay home if you are sick.
- Are you experiencing all symptoms of COVID19? Call ahead to your doctor to discuss your symptoms, let them guide you in the right direction, and/or call NYS DOH at 1-888-364-3065.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Preparedness and Information
Center for Disease Control (CDC) COVID-19 website
NYS Department of Health (NYSDOH) COVID-19 website
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the NYSDOH recommends that individuals should follow these guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus:
- Wash your hands regularly,
- Cover your cough or sneeze,
- Avoid touching your face,
- Avoid close contact with others and large public gatherings if possible, and
- Stay home if you are sick. Individuals who are experiencing symptoms and may have traveled to areas of concern or have been in contact with somebody who has traveled to these areas should call ahead to their health care provider before seeking treatment in person. Even if you have not been in contact with an infected person or an affected area, but are experiencing all symptoms of COVID-19, you should call NYSDOH at 1-888-364-3065 to receive guidance on what to do and how to self-quarantine.
Higher Risk Population Related Information
- Populations such as; older adults, people living with cardiovascular issues, diabetes, lung disease, and other immuno-compromised people are at higher risk of experiencing severe symptoms and hospitalization.
- Please read the CDC’s guidelines and advice linked here for those populations considered ‘high-risk’ and best practices to prevent infection.
Higher Education (SUNY/CUNY) Related Information
- SUNY and CUNY campuses will move to distance-based learning with all in-person classes cancelled beginning on Wednesday, March 19th. Students are encouraged to return home for the semester.
- Students facing hardship(s) will be allowed to remain in dormitories through contacting their individual university/college campus administration.
- Individual SUNY university/college campuses may promulgate different guidelines and requirements for students. Please make sure to keep yourself apprised of individual university/college announcements and updates.
- UAlbany has launched a COVID-19 website for students and parents alike: https://www.albany.edu/risk-management/coronavirus-covid-19-information
Health-Insurance Related Information
- Testing for COVID19 in New York State is at no cost to the patient, regardless of health insurance provider, thanks to an initiative spearheaded by Governor Cuomo, in the interest of removing financial barriers to testing and care.
K – 12 Education Related Information
- Public and private schools in New York State have received guidance from the New York State Department of Education (NYSED) on what to do should an outbreak occur within a school district.
- School districts will be required to provide for continuity of school meals, special education services, and other support programs in the event of any closure.
- Please stay apprised of updates and announcements from your individual school district(s).
Paid Sick Leave Related Information
- The state will guarantee two full weeks of paid leave for all state workers who are subject to a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine as a result of the novel coronavirus. Employees will not have to charge accruals during the time taken off work for quarantine. This will apply to all state employees, regardless of civil service classification, bargaining unit, and regardless of part time or accrual status.
- Next week, the state Legislature will vote on a Paid Sick Leave proposal for most private sector employees in New York State.
Nursing Home and Healthcare Settings-Related Information
- Please check with your individual Nursing Home or Assisted Living facility to see what restrictions or other guidelines that may have been implemented as a response to COVID-19.
- The CDC has posted guidelines for visitors concerned about visiting family members or friends in these facilities which can be found here.
- NYSDOH has posted similar guidelines and how nursing homes and similar facilities should prepare, which can be found here.
How to Remain Calm and Stress-Related Information
- Check the news once per day.
- Follow recommendations, but don’t panic.
- Focus on the evidence.
- Think of common-sense precautions to take.
- Focus on helping others.
Other Steps New York State Has Taken
- The state Legislature has authorized $40 million in funding to combat and contain the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID19) in New York State.
- These resources are critical to adequately and aggressively prepare our state public health system and statewide response. These resources will help coordinate the state’s response as it relates to the needs of the way of medical supplies, trained medical personnel, is key to ensuring our success in limiting the virus’ spread as much as possible.
- Rapid turnaround in testing of possible new cases at the Wadsworth Labs right here in the Capital Region instead of sending samples to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta will help contain and identify new outbreaks in real-time thanks to the efforts of the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and Governor Cuomo.
- New York is contracting with private labs within the state to significantly expand testing capability.